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D'Arenberg Stump Jump McLaren Vale Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2017
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BACKGROUND: The name `Stump Jump' relates to the significant South Australian invention - the Stump Jump plough. This plough became a popular piece of machinery for ploughing fields because of its ability to ride over stumps and gnarled "mallee" Eucalypt roots and snags, saving valuable time and resources by not stopping the draught horse. VINTAGE NOTES: The season began well with average winter rainfall, Summer conditions were significantly warmer than average with two heatwaves through January testing the limits of the vines. Following the heatwave was rain and cool weather, which helped slow down ripening, and allowed flavor development to catch up to sugar ripeness. White wines from this vintage are fruity and very flavorsome, as are reds with ample tannin to match. TASTING NOTES: This is a value packed wine that punches well above its weight. The bouquet is open and fruit driven displaying an abundance of red and black fruits, mixed with deft touches of spice and earthiness. The roundness of Grenache, sits on top of the solid structural foundation of Shiraz and is punctuated by the tight, punchy line of Mourve8dre.WINEMAKER: Chester Osborn
FOUNDED: 1912 by Joseph OsbornOWNER: The Osborn FamilyWINEMAKER: Chester OsbornCLIMATE: Mediterranean, substantial meso-climatic variation between sitesPROFILE: d'Arenberg is one of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and other Rhone varieties that have historically defined the region. A century on, their vineyards have grown to some 450 acres in McLaren Vale, including Shiraz dating back to d'Arenberg's first plantings in 1912, and nearly one-third of McLaren Vale's old bush-vine Grenache. Fourth generation winemaker, Chester Osborn, recently converted all of the family's vineyards to organics and biodynamics and moved to solar energy in the winery. All the while, in terms of winemaking, not much has changed--all the wines are basket-pressed, the reds foot-trodden during fermentation; everything is done in small batches, leading to an impressive array of bottlings every year, each showing a different facet of McLaren Vale terroir. Having been inducted into Wine & Spirits Magazine's Hall of Fame for earning a place on its Top 100 Wineries nine times, this accolade is a reflection of d'Arenberg's revered reputation worldwide.VITICULTURE: Four generations of learning have provided Chester with an intimate knowledge of his vineyards and a healthy respect for each site's unique terroir. To optimize vine health, vineyard sprays are minimized, while legume cover crops and clover are grown between rows, increasing organic matter and nitrogen in the soils and providing natural weed control. Many of the oldest Grenache vineyards house traditional dry-grown bush vines yielding small berries of intense flavor; the remaining vines are stressed in the pursuit of naturally low yields. Chester's predecessors, father d'Arry and grandfather Frank, established McLaren Vale as a champion of the red Rhone blend, and today d'Arenberg remains an industry innovator, with plantings of the white Rhone varieties as well as Tempranillo and Souzao. Diversification into the cool-climate Adelaide Hills has provided material for the production of crisp, focused Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.WINEMAKING: The d'Arenberg cellars were constructed in 1928 by Chester's grandfather, Frank, and since then have undergone major restoration and expansion with Chester and father d'Arry at the helm. Despite this modernization, traditional techniques such as foot treading and basket pressing are still employed.Grapes are gently crushed in rubber toothed crushers, with fermentation taking place in stainless steel tanks, barriques or, for the reds, open fermenters with heading down boards providing gentle extraction of color and tannin. Nineteenth century `Coq' and `Bromley & Tregoning' basket presses are used in pressing both red and white musts. Maturation occurs in American and French oak barriques, with small batches vinified separately throughout. These techniques ensure the winemaker is in touch with the individual textures and flavors of each parcel of wine, bringing balance and complexity to the final blends.
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